Looking for the best travel shows to stream right now? 🤩 Sit back, relax, and transport yourself to a different place with these top travel TV picks
Who doesn’t love a good travel show? Getting to tag along on adventures to exotic destinations without leaving your couch is pretty much the dream. From foodie favorites like Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” to reality gems like “The Amazing Race,” there’s no shortage of delightful and informative travel shows out there.
Whether you have an upcoming trip you’re researching or just need a mental vacation, these are some of the all-time best travel shows you should add to your watchlist. We cover all the bases from food to culture to survival skills – no passport required.
The Best Overall Travel Shows
When it comes to the crème de la crème, these travel shows rise to the top for their entertainment value, inspiring hosts, breathtaking cinematography, and globetrotting spirit.
Anthony Bourdain Shows
No list of the best travel shows would be complete without the late, great Anthony Bourdain at the top. Bourdain wasn’t just a chef – through shows like “Parts Unknown,” “No Reservations,” and “A Cook’s Tour,” he established himself as one of the most beloved travel personalities of his time.
Bourdain had an incredible gift for storytelling. His shows delve deep into the history, culture, and local cuisine of whichever destination he finds himself in. As a traveler, his curiosity and openness to new experiences allowed him to form meaningful connections everywhere from Appalachia to Antarctica. He set the standard for immersive travel shows that educate as much as they entertain.
Where to Watch: “Parts Unknown” is streaming on HBO Max and Hulu
For the wanderlusters out there, “Departures” perfectly encapsulates the spirit of adventure travel. The Canadian series follows best friends Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach as they embark on an epic year-long trip around the world, tackling every continent except Antarctica.
Wilson and Lukach throw themselves headfirst into foreign environments as they pursue unique experiences like dog-sledding across the Arctic Circle or scuba diving on remote atolls. Their infectious passion and easy rapport make for lively entertainment. Over 3 action-packed seasons, “Departures” will reignite your burning desire to travel.
Where to Watch: “Departures” is available on Amazon Prime Video
Rick Steves’ Europe
You can’t go wrong with the charming and professorial Rick Steves as your tour guide. His long-running PBS series “Rick Steves’ Europe” sees the travel expert offering wisdom, wit and key insights across the continent.
Unlike some shows that just skim the surface, Steves takes viewers beneath the typical tourist traps. From lesser-known neighborhood gems in Rome to conversations with friendly locals in Slovenia, he highlights authentic cultural encounters in Europe. With over 100 episodes under his belt, Steves has all the expert travel tips – no matter where your next European destination might be.
Where to Watch: “Rick Steves’ Europe” is streaming for free on YouTube, PBS and Amazon Prime Video
The Best Travel TV Shows on Netflix
When it comes to bingeable travel content, Netflix boasts an exciting array of global adventures mixing food, culture, and stunning scenery.
If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain, David Chang or food shows in general – “Street Food” needs to be on your radar. This vibrant docuseries from the creators of “Chef’s Table” takes viewers to some of Asia and Latin America’s most delicious street food stalls and markets.
Each episode focuses on a new city, diving deep into signature dishes and the stories of the people who make them. From Oaxacan tlayudas to Tokyo-style omelets, “Street Food” beautifully captures both mouth-watering cuisine and its profound cultural impact. It will leave your taste buds tingling and your wanderlust raging.
Somebody Feed Phil
You might recognize Phil Rosenthal from creating the hit sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” But nowadays he’s traveling the world and gobbling down local cuisines in his infectiously cheerful Netflix series “Somebody Feed Phil.”
With the enthusiasm of a little kid set loose in a candy store, Rosenthal samples his way through regional delicacies from Bangkok to Copenhagen. He’s up for anything, greeting exotic eats like deep-fried grasshoppers and blood sausage with gusto. Alongside all the quirky food escapades, his show spotlights vibrant cities and charming characters that capture the essence of each destination.
From radioactive sites to voodoo festivals – journalist David Farrier visits some notoriously creepy destinations in his twisted travel series “Dark Tourist.” While this certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, the show offers adrenaline junkies an intriguing look at the world’s macabre attractions and strangely alluring dangers.
Farrier tempers moments of peril with his dry sense of humor, gamely consuming psychedelic toad venom in the Sonoran Desert or waltzing through a radioactive ghost town near Fukushima. If you savor the spooky side of travel, strap in for this wild ride.
The Best Food Travel TV Series
Globetrotting foodies swear by these mouth-watering shows hosted by some of the biggest celebrity chefs and culinary stars.
In “Bizarre Foods,” Andrew Zimmern travels the globe seeking out local delicacies that seem shocking or strange to outsiders. Whether it’s downing fresh cow’s blood in Tanzania or savoring fertilized duck eggs in the Philippines, Zimmern approaches each new dish with infectious curiosity and courage. Over 27 seasons, the show highlights how perceptions of “normal” cuisine vary dramatically between cultures.
The Chef Show
“The Chef Show” reunites “Chef” film collaborators Jon Favreau and Roy Choi for more food-centric adventures. The friends experiment in Choi’s kitchen while reminiscing about favorite meals spanning their careers. Guest stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and David Chang join the hosts to cook and chat while revealing personal stories linked to the recipes. It’s an intimate celebration of cooking creativity among elite culinary talents.
Bourdain’s first smash-hit food and travel series, “No Reservations” aired on the Travel Channel from 2005 to 2012. While less polished than later efforts, the show captures Bourdain doing what he does best: venturing off the beaten path to connect with locals and discover authentic regional cuisine.
Fans get to ride shotgun as Bourdain feasts his way through delicious destinations from New Jersey diners to classic French bistros to food carts in Singapore. Expect plenty of sly wit alongside insightful commentary on wherever his epicurean adventures may lead.
Where to Watch: “No Reservations” is streaming on Discovery+ and Hulu
A Cook’s Tour
Bourdain’s inaugural foray into the travel show limelight, “A Cook’s Tour” premiered in 2002. Through 36 globe-trotting episodes, viewers accompany the celebrity chef as his insatiable appetite to learn leads him from Portugal to Russia to Vietnam and beyond.
With plenty of scenic shots and Bourdain’s trademark wry observations, the show spotlights regional cuisines alongside local chefs and restaurateurs. From squid fishing off the Cape Verde islands to cooking with grandmothers in Naples, it’s a charming early glimpse of Bourdain combining his passions for food and far-flung cultures.
Where to Watch: “A Cook’s Tour” is streaming on HBO Max 9.
Led by Momofuku founder David Chang, “Ugly Delicious” infuses cultural commentary into culinary exploration. Chang and special guests debate what “authentic” cooking really means as they sample dishes like Neapolitan pizza, Nashville hot chicken, and Sichuan peppers.
Discussions with fellow chefs and knowledgeable locals provide context alongside quirky animations and loving close-ups spotlighting flavors. By embracing food’s complexity, Chang reveals how our meals connect deeply to questions of identity and tradition across borders. It’s one of the most thought-provoking food shows out there.
Where to Watch: “Ugly Delicious” is streaming on Netflix
Chef’s Table: BBQ
The latest mouth-watering addition to Netflix’s acclaimed “Chef’s Table” anthology turns up the heat as it chronicles the lives of celebrated pitmasters and barbecue legends. Across 6 episodes, we gain fascinating insights into time-honored barbecue traditions from Texas to Australia.
Beyond sizzling scenes of smokers and grills at work, “Chef’s Table: BBQ” thoughtfully explores how race, class, gender, and geography have shaped barbecue culture globally. Expect profound backstories from trailblazing figures alongside tender brisket that will make you salivate.
The Most Extreme Travel TV Shows
Do you crave a major adrenaline rush with your travel entertainment? Strap in for wild rides as hosts place themselves in precarious situations across Earth’s most extreme locations.
World’s Most Dangerous Roads
Former “Top Gear” host Ice T guides viewers through hair-raising drives in rugged vehicles along notoriously perilous mountain passes. With steep cliffs, narrow single-lane “highways,” and the constant threat of rockslides, prepare for high-altitude panicking and serious pucker factors.
Navigating muddy tracks through jungles and across collapsing infrastructure, drivers frequently face mechanical failures, getting bogged down, or needing rescue. Not for acrophobes – but if you can’t look away from cringey fails or demolition derby crashes, this white-knuckle series is irresistible.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Famed survival expert Bear Grylls leads celebrities like Channing Tatum and Brie Larson on wild adventures into nature’s most challenging landscapes. From skydiving into the Catskill Mountains to battling crocodiles in the Panamanian jungle, Grylls shows his guests no mercy as he guides them through extreme survival challenges.
Lindsey Vonn hosts this pooch-focused competition, “The Pack,” streaming on Amazon Prime. Teams of dogs and their human companions race across spectacular New Zealand landscapes completing challenges. It’s an action-packed test of trust between adventurous pet owners and their furry best friends. While a $500,000 prize drives competition, the incredible bond between humans and dogs remains the heart of this unique show.
Get Out Alive
“Get Out Alive” saw Bear Grylls lead teams of two through grueling expeditions across New Zealand as they competed for $500,000. With daring water crossings, harrowing climbs and dangerous wildlife, the adventure series brought intense survival challenges straight from Grylls’ extreme playbook. Unique pairing dynamics emerged under pressure between romantic partners, friends and relatives determined to outlast the wilderness and each other.
Travel Adventure Series
Long Lost Family
The tearjerking series “Long Lost Family” follows heartwarming stories of adopted children finally connecting with biological relatives through DNA detective work and dogged records searching. Independent of travel show trappings, it still satisfies wanderlust because separating family histories often trace back to past migrations. Episodes unveil how global diasporas reverberate through generations via meaningful reunions across geographical distances and cultural divides.
Uncover hidden histories with former Navy SEAL Terry Schappert in “Lost Cities” on Discovery+. Schappert joins archaeologists across the Americas piecing together clues about ancient sites lost to time and Spanish conquests. Whether exploring Incan roads near Machu Picchu or tracing Mayan ruins, episodes spotlight scholars working to resolve enduring mysteries. Part travelogue and part detective story, it entertains while revealing indigenous cultures erased long ago.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Famed survivalist Bear Grylls guides various celebrities through extreme adventures in remote wilderness on his show “Running Wild.” The series catches influential figures like Anthony Mackie and Terry Crews embracing the wild as Grylls directs them to forage meals and rappel down waterfalls amidst gorgeous but punishing landscapes. More meditative outings with guests like Rainn Wilson reveal nature’s restorative mental health benefits as well.